So, you’re having a sexy year!
Hey, thank you! Sexy grandmother on Mom, and sexy sex scenes in Masters of Sex — who knew that you could turn 50 and suddenly have a sex career? [Laughs.] I love it.
Let’s start by talking about Mom. Your performance on the show involves a lot of physical comedy, which is different for you.
You know, I grew up doing plays; I did Noises Off two times. I did Feydeau farces. The Carol Burnett Show is my favorite show ever. I just love physical comedy, and I thank God my parents made me take ballet and modern dance. I love to do pratfalls. And I think that they’re taking advantage of that in a good way on Mom, and kind of letting me go crazy.
The most recent episode of Masters of Sex with Allison, “Love and Marriage”, is up in the gallery.
“It’s such a great opportunity as an actress to play these two women on TV at the same time,” Janney said in an interview with TODAY. “It’s a great gift to show your chops in all different styles of acting. That’s what I’ve trained for all my life. I’m more of a character actress. My career has never been based on being the ingénue or being stuck in one type of role, and I love that about where I am.”
Janney, 54, has four Emmys for her work on “The West Wing,” but even this seasoned actor admits nerves still get the best of her before she hears “Action!” It doesn’t help that on multi-camera sitcoms, writers draft jokes until show time–and continue to make changes even in front of the audience during the taping. Sometimes, like during rehearsals on Nov. 15, it gets tricky to keep track of last-minute add-on lines that involve “gummy bear breasts” and turning “lemons into grapefruits” while sitting in a fake oncologist’s office.
“Oh Lord!” Janney said recalling her flubs. “They had just re-written that whole scene and I could not get those words to come out in the right order. I kind of like the nerves, though. I have found that the nerves never go away especially when you care about something and you want it to be good.”
I’ve added to the Admiring Allison Janney Gallery with screencaps from the last two episodes of Masters of Sex.
CBS will air what Mom star Allison Janney is calling the sitcom’s first “very special episode” on Nov. 18, when her recovering-alcoholic character, Bonnie, relapses. “It goes in a direction that not a lot of [cocreator and executive producer] Chuck Lorre’s shows have gone,” Janney says. “We go pretty deep and raw and have some moments you don’t usually see in a half-hour sitcom.”
Though viewers won’t learn what exactly triggers Bonnie’s boozing, the ramifications will be clear. The inebriated Bonnie “climbs into [daughter] Christy’s house through a window after a bad bender and is still a little out of it,” Janney says. “She’s lost her job and apartment and really needs Christy’s help. So I move in!”
Bonnie will be assisted in her recovery by fellow Alcoholics Anonymous members Regina (Octavia Spencer) and Marjorie (Mimi Kennedy). The storyline presented Emmy winner Janney with some juicy material that left costar Anna Faris feeling a bit envious. “I don’t think they’ll ever let me relapse because Christy has those two kids,” Faris says. “And that’s too bad.”